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World of Warcraft loses 1.3 million subscribers in 3 months

World of Warcraft's subscriber numbers are at their lowest in years. Activision Blizzard today revealed the world's largest MMORPG is now home to 8.3 million active accounts, down 1.3 million from January to March.

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said the declines were mostly "from the East, but in the West as well" in the company's first-quarter 2013 financial statement.

World of Warcraft's subscriber base peaked above 12 million in 2010. It fell steadily after that, though was briefly pushed past 10 million once more when Mists of Pandaria released in September 2012.

An eight-year-old game losing some consumer interest is not surprising, but World of Warcraft looked unstoppable three years before. Kotick in a conference call with investors he expects the game to close out the financial year with even fewer subscribers .

15 comments

  • moronicmisfit - May 12, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    Oh and Blizzard, if you are reading this, make Gnomes and those ugly little horde Goblins be druids, and make them small when they are in cat and bear form, like kittens and teddy bears, but kick ass. be funny lookin as hell and cool at the same time.... I fight for the users!
  • moronicmisfit - May 12, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    World Of Warcraft is old, its one of the few online games that still charges 15 bucks a month to play, and people have left because of this. But... I also think its because Activision/Blizzard has decided its now time to bring little kiddies in to the game by adding kunfu pandas and dumbing down the skill tree system. Look Blizzard!, people that play RPG's love customization. its why we all do professions in WoW, its why we loved having multiple choices in how our character develops in picking different spells within a massive skill tree. Now its has been, as one person on another site put it, Disneyfied!!!. What Wow really needs is flying mount jousting, mount races , random pick-up items like in diablo 3. Hell even a bar (pub) where people can get their toons drunk and fight it out with chairs and pool sticks. new stuff to do, ... and a BIGGER skill tree, not some Carebear crap!!, so little 5 year olds can play along!. Stop trying to cover everyone in the universe Blizzard and get back to hard core RPGing!!!
  • moronicmisfit - May 12, 2013 9:37 a.m.

    World of warcraft is old, and that is partially why it is losing people, Its one of the few that still charges 1
  • bee2005 - May 10, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    WOW is time to retire already just like the old tree that will die when it's too old...
  • Pooka - May 9, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    Meh, WoW has still got a LONG time to go... I mean christ, Everquest 1 still has players upwards of 50-100k
  • Fox_Mulder - May 9, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    Now we're one step closer to Warcraft 4....... Hurry up and die WoW!
  • Talvari - May 9, 2013 1:43 a.m.

    Welp, it's only a matter of time now.
  • hyper24x7 - May 8, 2013 11:52 p.m.

    URL states 13 million subs lost, which would be funny from a math standpoint, so the amount of subs they lost went into the negatives. Meaning people who didn't even know about Wold of Warcraft cancelled their trial accounts they didn't even know about? Anyways.... The underlying premise or belief is: People play one game. They don't, if they do, they will sooner or later burn out or move on. World of Warcraft is, dare I say it, trend definiing. Some people play for a bit, let their sub lapse, wait til new content comes out, go to another game, play other games, come back, the cycle repeats. You can just as easily go to www.tvtropes.com and find plenty of examples of high vocal minorities in a fanbase complaining about something, in this case WoW. You can find plenty of "They changed it now it sucks" or "Its the same now it sucks." people as well who either can't get over that Blizzard tries to change their product in some way each iteration or that people dispute that it changed either way. I agree with one commenter that it would be telling to say, list active subs for WoW in a graph over time and then show new major MMO releases that use either the GW2 model (purchase software but then F2P) or purchase software with monthly reoccuring sub (SWTOR at first, Rift, etc) and see what the total concurrent sub decline is in relation to WoW. I'd be willing to be that new MMOs draw WoW players away, as well as there is a drop off after each xpac and resurgence right before each xpac. In addition the timing of Blizzcon also could drum up some subs / renewals. I have been playing WoW since release and quit / come back numerous times and each time there is a bit of an adjustment period and I end up enjoying the game more because I am looking for a good time. However I still play other games. If they've lost subs, I'm sure they will strategize and work on getting more some MMOs don't even have 1.3 million subs to lose nor is WoW claiming they are the only game in town though. So is Activision / Blizzard losing subs really news? No, its the same e-journalism we all see on the web meant to drive traffic to sites. Nice job GamesRadar.
  • Fox_Mulder - May 9, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    Good job, you know how websites work and gain revenue. You just wasted 5 paragraphs and insulted the site you're on an article that "isn't really news". It's news to me, so if it isn't news to you, why even bother talking about it?
  • CUFCfan616 - May 8, 2013 8:24 p.m.

    A few MMOs have been surprising in their longevity despite being faced with newer competitors. WoW, Eve, TF2 (not a MMO I know, but still going strong 9 years later).What're the figures like for newer games like Guild Wars 2 or The Old Republic? It'd be interesting to see if people are leaving the MMO genre in total or simply spreading out to different games.
  • Sinosaur - May 8, 2013 5:52 p.m.

    I haven't played since Cataclysm, partially because I haven't had the money to pay fifteen bucks a month to keep playing (tons of other games I want to play), and partially because I didn't really like the direction the gameplay was taking.
  • SpeedHighway - May 8, 2013 4:25 p.m.

    I actually found the URL version more amusing. "world-warcraft-loses-13-million-subscribers-3-months". Strange how scrubbing the text into a url can completely change the story =D
  • Connor Sheridan - May 8, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    You're not supposed to read those! But it's not like we care! There's no way we'd embed subliminal messages in our URL text! Ha! Ha! Don't be ridiculous! (Note: GamesRadar does not in fact embed subliminal messages in its URL text)
  • sxh967 - May 8, 2013 3:15 p.m.

    Not bad really considering how old the game is now. The challenge will be putting out a new game that yields comparable profits for Blacktivision. Despite the proliferation of high quality free to play MMOs, WoW shows that people are still willing to pay a subscription fee to play an online game. I think they would do well to keep on the same track and not release a totally free to play game because it would just be a disaster. Having said that, considering what they did with the real money auctions on Diablo 3, I definitely wouldn't put it past them now.
  • Taurine - May 8, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    Space Marine expansion!

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